MOUNT PLEASANT— Last season, the CMU Chippewas fell to the Eastern Michigan Eagles 38-19. A game that left head coach Jim McElwain questioning himself and feeling his lowest. Saturday, he and his team were determined not to feel that way again.
They would go on to top the Eagles at home 26-23 in the programs’ 101st meeting. The win would advance CMU to 3-2 on the season and 1-0 in MAC play.
“At the end of the day, my dad told me, man, as long as you got more points than them, that’s all that matters,” McElwain said.
Chippewas QB Jase Bauer completed 19 of 26 passes. He rushed for one touchdown and threw for another. He was also responsible for much of the fourth-quarter drive that was capped off with a touchdown from running back Marion Lukes putting the Chippewas in front for good, 26-23.
CMU TD scorers: Jase Bauer, Chris Parker, Marion Lukes
“Looking up at the scoreboard and seeing that we’re up now. And I get that I get the difference out there and you know, opportunity for them to stop them and just get the game over with a dub. It just felt amazing,” Lukes said.
The defense went out, made the Eagles settle for a field goal– which they ended up sending far right. The Chippewa defense wasn’t without a bit of help- as their 10th largest crowd- all time, filled with 28,323 rowdy fans made their presence known.
“You know, you couldn’t really hear much towards the last drive. But no, I’m just super, super thankful for them. I’m glad they all got to watch a win,” Linebacker Kyle Moretti said.
“The best showing we’ve had since like, 2016. And I’m just so happy,” McElwain said. “Because, you know, for these kids, they play their hearts out, we might not be the most talented outfit in the country. But I do know this, they’re bringing the pride of the Chippewa back in- and as I said at the beginning of the season, I really believe in these kids in that locker room.”
RB Myles Bailey led the Chippewas in rushing on Saturday with 92 yds, averaging 6.6 per carry. Chris Parker led in receptions with four totaling 49 yards.
Jase Bauer took all but two snaps against the Eagles, totaling 228 yards. He threw for 218 and rushed for an additional 10.
On the defensive side of the ball, Moretti led in tackles with 10. He recorded 2 sacks for 6 yards and was credited with 2.5 TFL/7 yds.
Moving over to special teams, kicker Tristan Mattson went 3/3 on the day in PATs and 1/1 in FGs.
The Chippewas will be on the road to the Buffalo Bulls Saturday. They are currently 1-4 on the season and 1-0 in MAC play. Kickoff for the Chippewas road game to Buffalo is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST.